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Prince Philip's Father: The Turbulent Life Of Prince Andrew

Prince Philip's Father: The Turbulent Life Of Prince Andrew
April 15, 2021 - 19:45 / Lucas Anderson

Prince Andrew, the father of Prince Philip, led a turbulent life as a Greek and Danish royal amid conflicts in 20th century Europe. He was exiled twice and was separated from his family for years. In 1944, he died alone in France.

The life of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882-1944) was marked by war and political uprisings. He spent many years in exile and once barely escaped death.

Prince Andrew was the son of King George I of Greece and his wife Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna Romanov. He was fourth in the line of succession to the Greek throne.

In 1903, Prince Andrew married Princess Alice of Battenberg, who came from the family of the Grand Duke of Hesse. The two had five children: four daughters and one son. Prince Philip was that only son, born as the youngest child in 1921.

Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew at their wedding in Darmstadt in 1903

Prince Philip's father: Prince Andrew's life in exile

In 1914, the First World War began and eventually removed the Greek royal family from its position of influence. Due to his neutrality on the war, King Constantine I, Prince Andrew's brother, had to abdicate and the family was exiled. The king did not sit on the throne again until 1920.

After that, it didn't take long before Prince Andrew had to leave his homeland again. Since 1919, Greece had been at war with Turkey, and they lost the conflict in 1922. Prince Andrew, a military figure, was to be executed as a result, but at the behest of the British Crown he was spared and again exiled with his family.

Prince Philip's Father: The Turbulent Life Of Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew's family broke up in exile

In the 1920s, Prince Andrew and his family of seven fled to Saint-Cloud near Paris and lived in a cottage that Marie Bonaparte offered to them. During the years in exile, the family also broke up.

Princess Alice, who later founded an order of Greek Orthodox nuns, suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland. Prince Philip was sent to school in England and the daughters all married into German aristocratic houses, to men who would later become Nazi Party members.

Prince Andrew then crept into the south of France, where he lived in apartments and hotels. There he had a mistress named Andrée de la Bigne. The prince died in 1944 and saw his family only once before his death.